Back markers University of Technology Sydney (UTS) scored a convincing win in the Stack’s Finance-Croker Oars Mixed Eight Challenge on Saturday afternoon as part of Manning River Rowing Club’s Summertime Regatta.
UTS started from 18 seconds in the 1000 metre race contested by 16 crews, one less than expected. However, they won like favourites should, rounding up the field by the 500 metre mark and getting to the line with clear water to the second placed Nepean. The club also won last year’s challenge.
Manning River finished in eighth place.
Conditions were described as close to perfect for the race that started near the Martin Bridge and finished at the rowing club, giving the big crowd at Queen Elizabeth Park for the TasteFest a great view. There was a breeze earlier in the morning however, this had died down by the time the race started at round 1.30pm.
Paddy Holt, who rowed in the seven seat for UTS, said the race plan was relatively simple.
“Seeing it was a 1km race we just had to go for it,’’ he said.
“It was a tight race, we had to put in pretty well all the way through.’’
Holt confirmed the crew hit the lead around the 500 metre mark.
“We don’t usually do handicap races, usually it’s the straight 2km,’’ he added.
“The handicap put a spanner in the works, because we had crews going off before us.’’
Holt revealed only one member of the current crew rowed in last year’s successful eight.
“A lot of the other guys couldn’t do it because of grade scores and we’ve also had a lot of new people coming into the club,’’ he said.
Crews were racing for $3500 in prizemoney provided by the sponsors.